Latest statistics from the Home Office show an increase of 14% in the number of fires in England attended by fire and rescue services. There is also an overall increase of 7% in the number of incidents attended.
Fires accounted for 31% of all incidents and 30% for non-fire incidents. The largest incident type continues to be false alarms (fire) which were 39% of all calls.
The increase in non-fire incidents is mostly accounted for by a rise in the number of medical co-responding incidents attended. Of the 10,000 additional non-fire incidents recorded in the year ending June 2017 compared with 2014/15, 7,000 were categorised as “Medical Incident – first responder” or “Medical Incident – co responder”.
The proportion of medical incidents varies between FRSs, but 17 have shown increases of ten times or more of these incident types, since 2014/15 (although some of these are from a very small starting point) while only four FRSs have shown a decrease.
The latest set of statistics include the Grenfell Tower fire. In the previous report there were 289 fire-related fatalities, this year the number increased to 346 (the Grenfell Tower fire claimed 80 lives).
While an increase in both fatalities and overall incidents is unwelcome, it provides the realisation that complacency within the fire service is not an option and the previous good work around prevention has to continue.
The full report can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fire-and-rescue-incident-statistics-england-july-2016-to-june-2017